Despite media reports of doom and gloom in American life, there’s one area where most of us are more upbeat than ever — our standard of living.
● U.S. standard of living index is at +54
This is a record high in Gallup tracking history. The previous high was +50, which was recorded last year.
The index is a yearly average based on two questions:
Right now, do you feel your standard of living is getting better or getting worse?
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your standard of living?
According to Gallup, “Americans' perceptions of their standard of living have been particularly strong” in July and August, which played a major role in the index's significant bump.
● Share of Americans who say their standard of living is getting better stands at a record high of 64 percent
This is up two points from last year and up 23 points from 10 years ago.
● Only 19 percent of American say their standard of living is getting worse.
This, too, is a record for Gallup — a record low, that is. It’s down three points from a year ago and down 22 points over the last decade.
● 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their standard of living.
Gallup notes that this measure has been more stable than the “getting better/getting worse” questions. In fact, even in 2008-09, during the Great Recession, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of us were satisfied.
● Republicans are more likely — and Democrats less likely — to say their standard of living is better in the era of Trump.
Last year, 56 percent of GOPers said it was getting better — now 68 percent say the same.
And among Democrats, 62 percent currently say it’s getting better, which is down six points from last year.
● Positive expectations up across all income groups
There was a 1- to 2-point bump from last year for all levels of household income when asked if their standard of living is getting better.